Shuaa Capital begins consolidation after buying Kuwait’s Amwal

Shuaa Capital is based in Emirates Towers, Dubai. (Shutterstock)
Updated 16 December 2018
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Shuaa Capital begins consolidation after buying Kuwait’s Amwal

LONDON: The Dubai-based financial services firm Shuaa Capital has started “consolidation efforts” following its acquisition of the Kuwait-based Amwal International Investment Company, according to a statement.
The move follows the recent completion of a public tender process, and Amwal shareholders’ general assembly on Dec. 12, according to a statement from UAE state news agency WAM.
Shuaa said earlier this year that it had struck a deal to boost its stake in Amwal to more than 87 percent.
Amwal’s key subsidiary is Noor Capital Markets, a brokerage with operations in Kuwait, Abu Dhabi, Turkey and Jordan.
Fawad Tariq-Khan, CEO of Shuaa Capital, said the acquisition will allow his company to boost its presence in some of those markets.
“The commencement of this consolidation exercise represents the culmination of our efforts in establishing a broad geographic footprint across the region’s strongest markets. From our heritage in the UAE, and now in our six well-placed jurisdictions, we are well positioned to tap into a diverse range of growing markets,” he said. “We are excited about the potential to take our expertise into Kuwait, Turkey and Jordan, as well as bringing Noor Capital Markets’ services and offerings to our home territories. We believe that we have a winning combination which will support our continued transformation on the path to sustainable profitability.”
Khurram Sayeed, CEO of Noor Capital Markets, said the consolidation had “tremendous prospects” for the businesses.


Lebanon’s central bank targets stable pound, says bank deposits rose in 2018

Updated 17 min 45 sec ago
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Lebanon’s central bank targets stable pound, says bank deposits rose in 2018

  • Lebanon Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh: For 2019, our goal will be the stability of the Lebanese pound exchange rate
  • Lebanese pound has been pegged against the dollar at its current level for more than two decades

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s central bank aims to keep the exchange rate of its pound currency stable in 2019, said the bank’s governor.

Riad Salameh also said Lebanese bank deposits climbed by 3.5 percent in 2018.

The comments were his first in public since remarks by the finance minister last week about Lebanon’s public debt triggered concerns that the debt might be restructured, leading to a sell-off in the country’s dollar-denominated sovereign bonds.

The government issued a statement on Sunday saying it had “absolutely” no plans to restructure the debt, helping the bonds to recover.

The pound has been pegged against the dollar at its current level for more than two decades.

 

“For 2019, our goals will always be for the stability of the Lebanese pound exchange rate,” Salameh said. “Our view of interest rates is stable.”

He said the notable thing about the increase in deposits “was in the deposits in foreign currencies while the deposits in Lebanese pounds remained at the same level, raising dollarization to 70 percent in the Lebanese markets.”

The veteran central bank governor did not refer to last week’s market turbulence in his comments to the Arab economic gathering in Beirut.

Lebanon’s public debt is one of the biggest in the world compared to GDP at around 150 percent.

Salameh said Lebanon’s economic growth in 2018 was around 1 percent to 1.5 percent according to central bank studies and compared this to growth of around 2 percent in the region.

“We could have done 2 percent if the government had been formed at the appropriate time,” he said. Political deadlock is still blocking the formation of a new cabinet more than eight months after a national election.

Salameh said recent instructions to money transfer firms to pay in Lebanese pounds were related to compliance to combat money laundering “and not as some tried to frame it as either to prevent transfers or to support the Lebanese pound.”

FACTOID

Lebanon’s public debt is one of the biggest in the world compared to GDP at around 150 percent.